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Mandatory Use of Open Standards In Hungary 163

qpeter writes "Hungarian Parliament has made the use of open standards mandatory by law in the intercommunication between public administration offices, public utility companies, citizens and voluntarily joining private companies, conducted via the central governmental system. The Open Standards Alliance initiating the amendment aims to promote the spread of monopoly-free markets that foster the development of interchangeable and interoperable products generated by open standards, and, consequently, broad competition markets, regardless of whether the IT systems of interconnecting organizations and individuals use open or closed source software. In the near future, in spite of EU tendencies the Alliance seeks to make its approach – interoperability based on publicly defined open standards – the EU norm under the Hungarian presidency of the European Union in 2011. To that end, it will promote public collaboration – possibly between every interested party, civil and political organization in the European Union. What do you think: what would be the best way to cooperate?"
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Mandatory Use of Open Standards In Hungary

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  • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:16PM (#30495518)

    Standards are good for low level protocols, like TCP/IP. But they're less good when it comes to higher level protocols (including data formats, because it prevents vendors from creating new things, lest they "extend" the standard and no longer be in the running for those juicy conctracts.

    HTML is a great example... Sure, you can tack on new ways of viewing the code, or add-in mechanisms, or just making the browser work better, but at some point you hit a wall, and you really need to extend the format to do new cool things, and the HTML standards committee's are glacially slow.. We wouldn't have Canvas, for instance, if Apple had waited for a standards body to create it.

    Office suites are a million functions that work on data in a common way... What if office documents had been "standardized" at Wordperfect and 123 1.0... I suppose some would argue that would have been a good thing, but most would find that incredibly constraining.

    I think it's a better approach to mandate that if a vendor wants to compete for a government contract, they are required to completely document whichever document format is their standard one.

  • Which is It? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @01:13PM (#30499288) Homepage

    The article uses two phrase "open standards" and "publically-defined open standards" as though they are interchangable, even though there is a significant difference between the two. While making interfaces for IT publically available is a good thing, limiting everyone to a set of government defined standards is really a step backwards as it makes it impossible to innovate new interfaces.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.